A-Z Common Words for Occupations in Indonesian Language

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What is your dream job? A scientist or humanitarian? I believe everyone would end up in work-life, like it or not. In case you want to live and work in Indonesia, you should know common words for occupation. Every language of course will its uniqueness in terms of occupation vocabulary. Therefore, you also should understand about Indonesian Cultural Words. because it might help you a lot! occupation, Before we start to explore more, take a look of these following articles.

Common Words related Occupation in Indonesian

Here are several words that usually found when you talk about common words for occupations in Indonesian Language.

  • pekerjaan = occupation/job
  • lowongan kerja = vacant job
  • kerja/bekerja = work (v)
  • kantor = office
  • karier = career
  • wawancara = interview
  • PHK (Putus Hubungan Kerja)/dipecat = fired
  • diterima = accepted
  • melamar kerja = applying for a job
  • pengangguran = unemployment
  • pekerja/bawahan = employee
  • bos/atasan = employer
  • manajer = manager
  • gaji = salary
  • cuti = holiday (either a real holiday or your quota of break in a year)
  • naik pangkat = be promoted
  • jam kantor/jam kerja = office hours (most common refer to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Read also: Common Indonesian Nouns

Common Profession in Indonesian Language

Here are common profession that you usually found in Indonesia. There are some that might not popular in your country, but you could also see that in some occasion, Bahasa Indonesia does not have specific name for several profession (look at the specialist doctor). Check it out!

  • dokter = doctor
  • suster = nurse/nun
  • perawat/juru rawat = nurse
  • bidan = midwife
  • apoteker = pharmacist
  • dokter gigi = dentist
  • dokter bedah = surgeon
  • dokter hewan = veterinarian
  • dukun = shaman
  • pelajar/murid/siswa/mahasiswa = student
  • guru = teacher
  • dosen = lecturer
  • dekan = dean
  • rektor = rector
  • kepala sekolah = headmaster
  • PNS (Pegawai Negeri Sipil) = civil servant
  • presiden = president
  • wakil presiden = vice presiden
  • Perdana Menteri = prime minister
  • sekretaris = secretary
  • bendahara = chamberlain
  • bankir = banker
  • sutradara = film director
  • produser = producer
  • pemain film/aktor = actor
  • aktris = actress
  • seniman = artist 
  • selebriti = celebrity
  • atlet = athlete
  • pahlawan = hero
  • polisi = police/cop
  • polwan (polisi wanita) = policewoman
  • polantas (polisi lalu lintas) = traffic policeman
  • hakim = judge
  • jaksa penuntur = prosecutor
  • pengacara = lawyer
  • pengusaha = businessman/enterpreneur
  • chef/juru masak = chef
  • akuntan = accountant
  • pilot = pilot
  • pramugara = steward
  • pramugari = stewardess
  • politisi = politician
  • menteri = minister
  • Duta Besar = Ambassador
  • nelayan = fisherman
  • makelar = broker
  • pialang saham = stockbroker
  • masinis = machinist
  • nakhoda = captain (ship)
  • sastrawan = writer (refer to ‘high’ literature writer)
  • insinyur = engineer
  • ahli mesin/montir = mechanic
  • tukang ledeng = plumber
  • tentara = soldier
  • arsitek = architec
  • humas (hubungan masyarakat) = public relation
  • satpam/penjaga = security
  • fotografer = photographer
  • model = model
  • peragawan = male model
  • peragawati = female model

Notes : In Bahasa Indonesia there are some jobs that implied a specific gender meanings. While nurse or midwife usually stereotyped to woman (because social construction), you could also identify the gender implied meaning from the suffix. For male, the word will be ended with the suffix -wan, while female is ended with the suffix -wati.

More about Indonesian terms for Occupation

Here are more about common words for occupations in Indonesian Language:

Using Indonesian prefix pe-

Several jobs for words are constructed by adding prefix pe- to the noun. It implies ‘pekerja’ (worker) or ‘pelaku’ (person who perform it) or ‘pemain’ (player). Mostly in English it is similar with the suffix -er which refer the performer/person. Take a look of these following common words for occupations in Indonesian Language:

  • penyanyi = singer
  • penari = dancer
  • pelukis = painter
  • pebalap = racer
  • pesepak bola = footballer
  • pebasket = basketballer
  • pemanah = archer
  • pelari = runner/spinner
  • penulis = writer/author
  • penyair = poet
  • pesulap = magician
  • pelatih = coach
  • pemadam kebakaran = firefighter
  • petani = farmer
  • pembuat kue = baker
  • penerjemah = translator
  • penyunting = editor
  • penjahit = tailor
  • pelaut = sailor
  • pelayan = waiter/waitress
  • pembawa acara = host/MC
  • perenang = swimmer
  • penyelam = diver
  • penata busana = designer
  • pejabat = officials

Check also: Indonesian Prefix Pe- and Forming Indonesian Words & Using Indonesian Affixes

Could you name other words? Try to find it! 

The terms ‘juru’

In Bahasa Indonesia, we also know the term ‘juru’. It is a word similar to the term ‘master’ or a person that has been trained to specific jobs so they become a skilled for it. Here are the words that could be added with the word ‘juru’

  • juru rawat = nurse
  • juru tulis = clerk
  • juru bicara = spokesman
  • juru masak = chef
  • juru kunci = caretaker (usually sacred place, such as Mount Merapi or cemetery); also means a team that placed last in a group stage of a competition
  • juru ketik = typist
  • juru rias = makeup artist
  • juru foto = photographer

Those are common words for Occupation in Bahasa Indonesia. What about your country? Do you have something similar with Indonesian ‘juru’? Hopefully these articles will help you get better understanding of Bahasa Indonesia and keep it interesting for you!

In case you still have curiosity with Indonesian language, culture or even its society, you could check these following useful articles. Last but not least, keep practice and explore! Good luck.